Virtual laser sessions

Trotec UK Live is a virtual event taking place over three days later this month (26-28 January) that will focus on all things laser. The event promises to deliver live demonstrations, hints and tips, finance options, design inspiration and more. There will be 17 sessions covering a multitude of topics, split in to morning and afternoon blocks. Registration to the event is free and participants can pick and choose relevant sessions (only one registration required). The sessions will be interactive, with the opportunity to ask questions via the live chat function.

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3D waterjet cutting of hard materials

ProdOpti AB in Jordbro, Sweden, has invested in a new machine from Water Jet Sweden. With its new FiveX waterjet machine, ProdOpti is today the only company in Scandinavia that can offer abrasive waterjet cutting in full 3D.

“ProdOpti should always be a company at the forefront of machining; to live up to this we invest in modern equipment to meet market demands,” says Gabriel Öfverberg, CEO of ProdOpti. “Our choice fell on Water Jet Sweden’s FiveX machine thanks to its flexibility in producing components in both small and large series. The FiveX machine gives us great opportunities to deliver a final product that exceeds customer expectations.”

Water Jet Sweden’s FiveX has an extra-stable frame design to manufacture 3D components in hard materials with high precision and positioning accuracy of ±0.050 mm/m. The model ProdOpti ordered is 4.2 m wide and 6.7 m long, giving a work table of 28 sq m. That size is not unique in itself, but with a Z-axis movement of 1.2 m, users receive a cutting space of 33.7 cu m. These dimensions make it one of the largest FiveX machines manufactured to date.

FiveX is said to have the only cutting head in the world with a ±120° movement, enabling the machine to process 3D parts with abrasive waterjet technology. This capability is also the reason why the FiveX model is equipped with solid safety walls around the perimeter of the cutting space. The front wall opens and closes automatically from the operator panel. Around the machine there are small windows made of safety glass so the operator can monitor cutting.

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Automated welding deal

The Esab Group Inc and robot specialist Yaskawa have signed a global co-operation agreement to jointly develop and market a line of pre-engineered robotic welding systems called XCellerator. Yaskawa will engineer and build XCellerator, with Esab providing the marketing through its global sales channels. The cells target small and medium-sized manufacturers and fabricators seeking easy installation, set-up and operation, enabling them to take a confident step toward automating their welding operations.

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Landmark investment at Park Sheet Metal

Coventry-based Park Sheet Metal recently became the UK’s first company to invest in the newest version of Trumpf’s TruLaser Cell 7040 five-axis laser-cutting machine. Adding to a fleet of existing, previous-generation TruLaser Cell 7040 machines, the latest model brings a number of advantages to this specialist in low-volume automotive metal parts and assemblies, including greater energy efficiency.

Established in 1947, Park Sheet Metal is a £16m turnover business that occupies five sites covering a total of 85,000 sq ft. The company, which is certified to IATF 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, supplies to prestigious customers that include Aston Martin, Bentley, Lotus, Jaguar Land Rover and LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Co), to list but a few.

“Although we already had three TruLaser Cell 7040 machines, the need arose to invest in another as one of our major customers, Aston Martin, has opened an additional factory at St Athan in Wales,” explains director Graham Penter. “In turn, there was a clear requirement to expand our capital expenditure and facilities, and continue supporting their expansion over the coming years. The same is true for LEVC, with the introduction of their new electric van. Due to these developments, extra five-axis laser cutting capacity was an obvious need.”

Speaking about the new investment, he adds: “It’s really nice having four TruLaser machines, giving us the flexibility to grow, which is the main reason we have retained Trumpf as our preferred supplier of five-axis laser-cutting technology.”
Park Sheet Metal invests in the latest technology for many reasons, not least to achieve accuracy and repeatability through all of its laser cutting. Furthermore, the latest TruLaser Cell 7040 enables significant improvements in energy efficiency without compromising on cutting speed or productivity.

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New TVR factory gets green light

After extensive liaison with the Welsh Government, TVR says its Ebbw Vale factory renovation and enhancement programme has received the green light, and that preliminary site works will begin in mid-January. Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd is the principal contractor for a significant programme of works that include replacement of the main building’s roof, recladding of the building’s exterior, extensive groundworks and preparation of a prototype build area at the side of the intended main production space.

Les Edgar, chairman of TVR says: “This is a fantastic milestone in our mission to rejuvenate an iconic British brand, and we are all excited to witness the renovation of our new home in Ebbw Vale. We have hundreds of faithful depositors worldwide who are patiently waiting to take delivery of their Griffiths. Our partners at the Welsh Government have shown stoic support and I must extend my personal thanks to all those who share our vision of helping develop a sustainable automotive sector in south Wales.”

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